The Punters Are Kicking it Across Canada
Newfoundland natives, The Punters are currently touring across Canada for the first time, and by all accounts the tour has been a success.
Calling from Jasper, Alberta, lead vocalist and guitarist Larry Foley, says the band's latest remake of their She Said She Couldn't Dance CD does sound different now that they've released it on Loggerhead Records.
"Both versions of She Said She Couldn't Dance are different and they aren't," Foley says. We made the record on our own and then released it a year ago June, then toured it for a year. Then we signed to Loggerhead and they were interested in re-releasing it. The difference is, the sound is of a higher quality."
The Punters have been together in some incarnation or another since 1995. Foley was in Ireland studying for his Masters in Sociology when he met bass player Brian Kenny. Then they met fiddler and guitar player Patrick Moran in Newfoundland when Foley returned from school. Since then, things just happened as Foley puts it.
In September 1997 Microsoft had it's first ever live webcast and The Punters were asked to perform. Foley remembers it was an exciting experience, as well as mind blowing.
"I'm a bit of a technical lidvite. The thing I remember the most was we had a live chat going on while we were playing in St. John's. People from Boston were emailing us saying they were in their kitchen listening and dancing, that was kind of neat."
The Punters, a name which Foley says is a common term used in Ireland to describe pedestrians, which sort of popped into his head, were recently in a hotel room watching MuchMusic when their latest single "Reena" aired.
"Watching yourself on TV makes you think to yourself that there was a reason for doing the video and it makes you feel a little bit justified for doing it," Foley says. "It's gratifying."
Drummer Bob Hiscock wears two hats in the band, he's also the band's business manager. "The arrangement works out great," says Foley.
"It's also really great to have someone in the band who deals with all the numbers. He's really good at it." Holding a masters in business was also an attractive trait that The Punters found impressive in deciding to name Hiscock business manager.
Describing the band's audience demographic brings Foley to laughter when he stops to think about who they are.
"It never ceases to amaze us that people of all ages seem to like us. I attribute it to the fiddle. People enjoy a good melody, and it's very roots based. "We also have a lot of young girls come out to see us."
Playing their own special brand of Celtic rock, The Punters are eager to record their next album. The band has already recorded twenty-one new songs.
"In our mind we're ready to record, that's what's kind of kept us going. We're always on top of new material we're always arranging new stuff," says Foley. "We immediately started to write new stuff after She Said She Couldn't Dance was recorded. We hope to have a new album in the coming new year. We've decided to be ready if nothing else."
Foley, a huge fan of The Beatles admits The Punters turned to traditional Irish music when it came to forming the band.
"We always seem to find a good balance between traditional music and original material. We can't get away from it, that's why we formed. Folk songs are always about a good story, and that's what the band will always be about."
Before things get too crazy for The Punters they will wrap up their tour by playing in Toronto next week at the Horseshoe on November 26, then head to Halifax to tie up the tour. They will then make their way home in time for the holiday season.
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